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Match Report: Hull City 1-1 Cardiff City
Peter Whittingham’s second half volley rescued a point for Cardiff City in a 1-1 draw with Hull City at the KC Stadium.
The sides drew 2-2 on the final day of the Championship season in a dramatic evening which eventually saw Hull promoted, but this game had a different feel to it and featured a whole host of new faces from last time the sides met.
The home side went into the game on the back of a good display against Manchester City despite the 2-0 loss.
Steve Bruce was able to field an unchanged starting eleven from the game at the Etihad Stadium, with both Sone Aluko and Allan McGregor shaking off minor injuries.
Malky Mackay’s men came into the game after picking up a point in a 0-0 home draw with Everton before the international break but made three changes to the side.
David Marshall couldn’t overcome his injury picked up on international duty so Joe Lewis started in goal. Kevin Theophile-Catherine was given his first start since his summer move to the club in place of Matthew Connolly. The other change involved influential forward Craig Bellamy who was replaced by Don Cowie. Elsewhere deadline day signing Peter Odemwingie could only find a place on the substitute bench.
Hull City: McGregor – Figueroa – Chester – Davies – Elmohamady – Huddlestone – Livermore – Koren – Brady – Graham – Aluko
Subs: Jakupovic – Rosenior – Bruce – McShane – Meyler – Boyd – Quinn
Cardiff City: Lewis – Taylor – Caulker – Turner – Theophile-Catherine – Whittingham – Medel – Kim Bo-Kyung – Gunnarsson – Cowie – Campbell
Subs: Moore – Hudson – Noone – Mutch – Odemwingie – Gestede – Maynard
It was the home side who had the first chance as early as the seventh minute. Good work from Sone Aluko saw him twist and turn in the box before firing a shot at Joe Lewis who parried into the path of Danny Graham but the striker fired well over.
Both teams were trying to win the midfield duel with Tom Huddlestone having some neat touches and displaying his full range of passing ability to the Hull faithful.
Cardiff then thought they had a penalty when James Chester put in a strong challenge on Kim Bo-Kyung but referee Robert Madley waved away the protests.
Fraizer Campbell, who rejected Hull in favour of a move to the Bluebirds, was shown a yellow card in the 16th minute for a clumsy lunge on Chester much to the delight of the home fans.
The lively Aluko then surged into the box just shy of the 30th minute but his effort could only hit the side netting from a tight angle., with some sections of the crowds thinking it had snuck in.
Medel, who arrived from Sevilla for a club-record £12m, raced into the box and was found by Whittingham but the Chilean’s touch was heavy and McGregor pounced on the loose ball.
Hull took the lead in the 40th minute when a Huddlestone shot from the edge of the box forced a corner. From the resulting set-piece Lewis punched the ball towards the right touchline to Ahmed Elmohamady who passed back to Huddlestone who then swung in a superb ball which bounced just in front of Lewis and found Curtis Davies, who reacted fastest to head home, sending the stadium into raptures.
At the half-time interval Cardiff sacrificed Kim Bo-Kyung in favour of striker Nicky Maynard as they looked for more options up front.
Much like the first half, it was Hull who had a half chance through Maynor Figueroa but his long range effort was deflected wide.
Cardiff then had their first chance since the break when Aron Gunnarsson sent a fizzing shot goalbound but Jake Livermore was on hand to block.
The Bluebirds were level with their next chance just before the hour mark in a brilliantly flowing team move. Some swift one-touch passing in the Cardiff midfield saw them break the Tigers down and the ball fell to Don Cowie on the right flank who swung in an inviting drilled cross for Whittingham who smashed home.
Cardiff looked to be well in the ascendancy and threatened to take the lead when a Theophile-Catherine cross found Gunnarsson but his header went wide.
Robbie Brady made way for Republic of Ireland team-mate Stephen Quinn as Bruce looked to add a spark of energy to his midfield. Quinn was straight into the action blocking Cowie as he ran into the box which brought about no foul.
The Tigers thought they had snatched all three points 11 minutes from time when Aluko finished off a Quinn cross only for the offside flag to cut short any celebrations.
A dangerous free-kick on the edge of the Cardiff box saw Huddlestone smash an effort at the defending wall.
Graham, who struggled all match, had a chance in the dying embers of the game when an Elmohamady cross from the right met his head but the header was straight at Lewis.
This was a game both newly-promoted teams would have earmarked as one to pick up some points and on reflection both sides will be satisfied with a point from the game.
Jamie Barwick is a 21-year-old Sports Journalism graduate and a fan of Hull City, covering the Tigers on KingFut.com.